Business Link To Shut In Latest Government Austerity Measures

The final nail is now in the coffin for Business Link, the resource designed by the government to encourage and support new businesses, as the announcement that it will close in October is finalised.

Under previous austerity measures, announced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition last year, all regional and offline Business Link services, offices and seminars were closed down and ceased to exist by November 2011.  At the same time, the online Business Link website was boosted with a major multi million pound revamp.

Barely 10 months after the costly revamp and launch of the Business Link website, the Government have confirmed that the Business Link website will close on 17th October 2012.

A shocking blow to new and small to medium sized businesses, the latest austerity measures aren’t likely to be popular with businesses that are already struggling for support in poor economic times.

It also calls into question the Governments decision to invest in a revamp of the Business Link website, to shut it down less than a year later – undoubtedly what will be considered a waste of tax payers money in a time when the UK is experiencing a double dip recession, the worst since World War II.

The Government becomes the latest in the line to reduce support for SMEs, following on from banks, which are still reluctant to loan to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Business Link is a government funded business advice and support service which started in 1993.  The final call on Business Link was looming after the announcement in 2011 that all regional Business Link services were to be terminated.  However, this was justified by the Government based on the fact that they were investing in a revamp as well as new content and tools on the Business Link website to counter the negative effects of local service termination.

By September 2012, Business Link sent out an e-mail to all its registered customers asking them to download any information they have stored on Business Link as it will no longer be available after the 17th October.

Business Link now becomes the latest victim of the coalition government, formed in 2010.

Government statements were keen to stress that Business Link was being absorbed into the new website, due to launch in October 2012, and was not being ‘shut down’ as such, more being ‘transferred’.

Following further investigation by DPS Computing Limited, we can confirm that this is only a partial truth.  While it is indeed correct that some of the standard, non-personalised ‘advice’ pages will appear on the new website, there will be no user areas, personalised information or ability to store company information or receive tailored support, as you can on the current Business Link website.  In addition, there will be no ‘Business Link’ website contained within the website – some of the advice sheets will simply be contained in appropriate sections, in a similar style to the current Directgov website, which is also being absorbed into the website.

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